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Friday, July 30, 2010

Turkey in the solar oven

Our live is getting back to normal. Michael feels he's 100% recovered from surgery and is starting to work outside again! Speaking of outside, we have had some real heat this summer with most days 95+. We're doing as good as we can to keep our tomatoes, peppers, and okra alive.

It's been too hot to cook. So, last week I cooked a turkey breast in our solar oven. It turned out really well and was completely done. The meat just fell off the bones.

A special horn blower at the world cup!

Last month at the World Cup, there was a special horn in the crowd!

The mystery of the missing fruit trees

About two weeks ago, I went out one morning and discovered that one of our peach trees was completely gone.  All that was left was about 18" of the trunk. There were not any branches on the ground or any signs of it being cut by a saw. At first I thought someone was in our garden.  The cut was fairly smooth with a little bit of grooves in it.

On Monday, the same scenario happened again. We were completely stumped (no pun intended).

Living in South Carolina, I didn't believe there were beavers here but the thought crossed our minds. Our property borders a neighbor's 5 acre pond and two smaller ponds and then a creek in the woods on the other side.

This morning, the third or our five peach trees suffered the same fate. We have a total of about 20 trees and they are about six years old so just producing for us!

We talked to one of our neighbors that has a pond and he said on the other side of the 5 acre pond at the spillway, they have discovered beavers building a home.

As I called around farm and garden centers, etc. the most popular solution was a rifle. One guy told me to open two cans of sardines and place them at the edge of the pond and then get a lawn chair and sit with a shotgun on our laps and wait for them to come for the sardines and shoot away!

We did find something called Ropel that you can spray on the trunks of trees that make it taste terrible and also gets on their paws. We bought it at a pest control place and used it last night and didn't lose another tree. We'll see if it works. I stayed out a dusk last night to see if we could see them (we were told they come out at dusk) but didn't see any!

We haven't had too good of luck with wildlife. We have had deer eat out strawberries, a duck get in our garage, the cats bringing rabbits into the house and now beavers stealing our trees!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Michael's recovery

This is Michael last Monday, awaiting his surgery. Boy I'm glad this past week is over but it went as well as we could have prayed for. Just one week later, he's able to move around, get up and down and is no longer on any pain medication.
He ended up with about an 8" incision. This is just part of it. They took out 8" of his colon. The mass was just confined to the inside of the colon. Nothing looked abnormal and when the pathology came back, everything was negative so he is considered cured! He will have close follow up for many years but that is a small price to pay!
Here he is the day before he came home. He was able to come home on Friday night about 9:00 after eating a couple of regular meals and having his bowels move. He's now able to eat whatever he wants. We consider this such a blessing and a real miracle! He doesn't have all of his energy back yet but he is starting to teach an online class tomorrow! Hopefully, he will get his staples out in the next couple of days.